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CONTENTS Issue #662 (25 June 2012)
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Welcome to BioNews by email, published by the Progress Educational Trust, providing you with news, comment and reviews on genetics, assisted conception, embryo/stem cell research and related areas. 

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Why the mitochondria debate shouldn't be left to the popular media
25 June 2012 - by Dr Virginia Bolton
Predictably, the publication of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics' report supporting further research into a technique to prevent inheritance of mitochondrial disease prompted a flurry of publicity. Equally predictably, nearly every newspaper - whether broadsheet or tabloid - went for the sensationalist angle and used the 'three-parent IVF' tag in their headline... [Read More]
Mother of first IVF baby dies at 64
25 June 2012 - by Cait McDonagh
Lesley Brown, the first woman to give birth after undergoing IVF treatment, has died aged 64. She made history when her daughter Louise was born in 1978 at Oldham General Hospital... [Read More]
NHS payout for children fathered by nephew sperm donor
25 June 2012 - by Rose Palmer
Two children of a lesbian couple are due to receive £70,000 compensation from the NHS after a mistake led to the death of their sperm donor father. The man was also the nephew of one of the women... [Read More]
Clinic offers free IVF treatment to winners of video competition
25 June 2012 - by Jessica Ware
The Sher Institute, a network of eight fertility clinics in the USA, has announced the three couples to win an IVF giveaway contest... [Read More]
Controversial publication of bird flu studies reveal virus' potential
25 June 2012 - by Dr Greg Ball
Controversial research showing how the H5N1 'bird flu' virus can be altered to make it transmissible between mammals through the air has been published, nine months after it was first presented at a conference.... [Read More]
Eye precursor and tiny liver grown from stem cells
25 June 2012 - by Dr Daniel Grimes
Human embryonic stem cells have, for the first time, been used to grow a crucial part of the eye, a paper in Cell Stem Cell reports. It is hoped that in the future transplantation of such tissue could help visually impaired people recover their sight... [Read More]
EU urged to continue funding stem cell research
25 June 2012 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza
Six major UK research funding bodies have called for the continued funding of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research in the EU's programme for research and development... [Read More]
Huntington's disease gene-silencing drug effective in animal studies
25 June 2012 - by Holly Rogers
A single dose of an 'antisense' drug has been shown to slow, or even partially reverse, Huntington's disease in animal studies, according to a study published in Neuron.... [Read More]
Event Review: Twins - Identically Different
25 June 2012 - by Dr Michaela Livingstone
Epigenetics. What on earth is that? You're probably aware of the genetics vs environment debate can still divide people to this day, but epigenetics is something that we haven't quite got around to talking much about in the public sphere.... [Read More]
Event Review: Marcus Brigstocke Invites Mark Thomas
25 June 2012 - by Maria Botcharova
How are we different from animals? Comedian Marcus Brigstocke met evolutionary geneticist Professor Mark Thomas at the Cheltenham Science Festival, and asked him about what makes humans so human. Their marvellously informative discussion of human achievement covered art, religion, Adam and Eve, and how they all tie into our genes.... [Read More]

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